The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has specific statutes that may affect your personal injury case. It is important that you retain counsel immediately in order to navigate local rules when filing your claim. Here are a few important rules to remember before you take your matter to court.
Time Limits for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit- The State of Massachusetts has a strict three year deadline for filing an injury lawsuit. This deadline either extends from the date of the injury, or in rare cases, from the date the injury is discovered by a doctor. Failure to file within the deadline relinquishes your right to have the matter heard in court. Claims against the government have a deadline of two years.
Comparative Fault- In Massachusetts, the comparative fault rule is in effect for personal injury cases. This means that the amount of damages the injured party is entitled to can be reduced by a percentage equal to the fault of the injured party. If the court finds you to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, you would be unable to claim any monetary damages at all. Up to 50%, the court applies the reduction to the damages awarded.
“No Fault” Laws in Car Accident Cases-
In Massachusetts, most auto accidents observe the no fault rule. This means that one must file a claim through their own insurance policy. An injured person may only seek damages from the other party if they have incurred a permanent injury or more than $2000 in medical costs.
Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases- Massachusetts law places fault clearly on the owner of the dog, regardless of whether the animal is known to have been vicious before the attack. This rule is in effect in most cases unless the attack was provoked by cruelty towards the animal.
Damage Caps- Massachusetts strictly limits non-economic damages in certain personal injury cases. This includes punitive damages for reasons such as “pain and suffering” or “mental anguish”. For example, the damage limit in a medical malpractice suit is $500,000 unless the plaintiff can show a permanent injury such as disfigurement or loss of bodily function.
Contact us for legal representation in Massachusetts.